India’s doubles star Rohan Bopanna is undergoing mixed feelings right now. While on one hand, he is happy to clinch his first title of the year — the Marseille Open, with Brit partner Colin Fleming on Sunday, on the other, he is upset at being left out of India’s squad that takes on Indonesia in the Asia-Oceania Davis Cup tie in April. However, the All India Tennis Association’s (AITA) decision to not pick him and Mahesh Bhupathi in the squad that includes singles players Somdev Devvarman and Yuki Bhambri, and doubles players Leander Paes and Sanam Singh, hasn’t surprised the Bangalorean
In an interview with MiD DAY, Bopanna spoke of his joy and sorrow. Excerpts
The Marseille title being the first of the season for you, must be special.
It’s always special to win a title. At the highest level and with the current format for doubles on the ATP circuit, the outcome of matches hinges on three to four points. So, it’s great to string four matches in a row and win.
The timing of the win should be special too, given its come a day after the announcement of the Davis Cup squad. Was the selection on your mind?
Honestly, I never looked at getting the timing right while winning the tournament. I just tried to do my best. And speaking of the selection, while on court, I only try to focus on the match at hand, and not think of anything else. However, I was very sure I would not be picked for this Davis Cup tie anyway.
You must be upset at not being considered for the Davis Cup.
Yes, of course! Not being selected to play for India is a big disappointment, especially since the tie is going to be held in my hometown.
Has this disappointment overshadowed your joy of winning in Marseille?
No... the Marseille win is a big achievement for me. It won’t be overshadowed by the disappointment over Davis Cup selections.
Do you think you’re paying the price (maybe like Mahesh too) for being one of the senior India players to be associated with the newly formed Indian Tennis Players Association?
Absolutely not! The ITPA has been formed for the betterment of tennis, and to improve things for the current as well as future players. We all are trying to be part of this movement so that India can produce more successful tennis players.
Your partnership with Colin is brand new, but you guys seems to have gelled perfectly.
Winning the title at Marseilles definitely means that Colin and I have gelled really well on court. I have known Colin for a couple of years now and we are friends off the court as well. The camaraderie we share has definitely helped us complement each other on court.